Research can continue on campus with permission


PETALING JAYA: Research activities can continue on campus during the full lockdown but under strict standard operating procedure and with special permission granted by department heads.

The Higher Education Ministry said these activities should only be done if absolutely necessary and on a solo basis.

It said students living off-campus and engaged in research activities requiring laboratory facilities and special equipment need to obtain a letter of permission to enter and exit the campus from their respective higher education institution (HEI).

The ministry also said all teaching and learning (PdP) activities would be done online for all students, whether on or off-campus.

“All student activities such as co-curricular, club and society activities that are face to face and in groups are not allowed, and need to be done virtually for the time being, ” it said in a statement.

Students sitting for international examinations or professional bodies are allowed to be on-campus, subject to strict adherence to SOP, it added.

The ministry also said all academic and non-academic staff must work from home.

However, it said 20% of the staff are allowed to be in the office to perform work that cannot be done from home for a maximum of four hours on a rotation basis.

“Academic and non-academic staff are not allowed to be in the office except for necessary services and need to have an official letter from their respective HEI and employee passes, ” it said.

The ministry said students at home must delay their return to the campus while those on campus would need to remain there throughout the full lockdown.

“Students must remain on campus and are only allowed out with the permission of the HEI management in compliance with SOP, ” it said.

Association of Private Educational Institutions president Assoc Prof Elajsolan Mohan welcomed the ministry’s SOP, which he said was created after consulting the HEI.

However, he said it would be better if more than 20% of the staff could be on campus.

“This is mainly to take care of all the facilities, maintenance and student accommodation, apart from staff to manage IT facilities meant for PdP, ” he said.

He added that everyone has a part to play in flattening the Covid-19 curve and that they would manage with the approved SOP.

Sunway Education Group chief executive officer Prof Elizabeth Lee said only staff and students who need to use the facilities, equipment or wifi to support their research, teaching, learning and work would be allowed on campus.

“There will be no face-to-face PdP, including practicals during the full lockdown, ” she added in a notice to the group’s heads of institutions.

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